It’s taken this long for Game of Thrones to confirm a Season 7 premiere, and lips might finally now be loosening. Straight out of SXSW, Thrones bosses David Benioff and Dan Weiss confirm an even shorter episode order for the eighth and final season.

Where Game of Thrones Season 7 has long been specified for seven episodes, producers have been more flexible over the eighth and final season’s reported order of six episodes. HBO even expressed optimism Benioff and Weiss might change their minds, though the pair confirmed at SXSW “It’s only going to be six episodes for the final season.”

Said HBO back in January:

The only thing we’re working out is how many episodes they want to do … They’re still figuring it out because I think they’re trying to get a shape of the season. They always do what they think [will yield] the best version of the show. It’s all about how many they’re comfortable [with]. But I’ll always take more.

Elsewhere of Game of Thrones Season 7, now set for a July 16 premiere, a list of directors for the year has been announced along with rumors of some major set pieces and battles. Harry Potter star Jim Broadbent gave us surprising details of his “significant” role, while several notable returns have likely been revealed, along with an unexpected MLB cameo, and one recast.

We’ll hear more of Game of Thrones Season 7 in the coming weeks, but will Season 8 at least have an earlier premiere?